Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will allow 50 people to immigrate to Canada after they were erroneously issued visas due to a technical error.
The 50 visa recipients were among a backlog of 280,000 people who had applied for immigration through the Skilled Worker Program and were rejected due to changes in admission requirements.
“We’re in the process of changing over our IT systems and so apparently some visas were automatically issued in error affecting 50 applications in 12 countries,” Kenney said.
Kenney said the applicants had qualified to immigrate to Canada under the previous requirements and acted in good faith in their application process.
“They are admissible. So I’ve made the decision this afternoon to use a special ministerial power to grant them legitimate visas so they have permanent residency. They have nothing to worry about. They have status in Canada. They didn’t act in bad faith. It was an administrative error on the part of my ministry,” Kenney said.
The real mistake is … the fast pace in which the minister is changing immigration policies.
—Jinny Sims, immigration critic, NDP (New Democratic Party)
With over 2 million decisions a year—some 7,000 a day—and a major IT overhaul, Kenney said it was understandable some small errors could be made.
Kenney’s department has taken heat from the New Democratic Party (NDP) over the decision to reject the 280,000 applicants. NDP immigration critic Jinny Sims said she was glad Kenney granted the 50 visas, but believes he is changing immigration rules too quickly.
“I am pleased that the minister has acknowledged a mistake has been made and he is going to redress that,” she said. “But the real mistake is the deletion of all those files in a very unfair manner and the fast pace in which the minister is changing immigration policies.”
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